What is a sponsor licence?

A sponsor licence allows UK organizations’ to hire workers or enroll students who need permission to work or study in the UK. This page will focus on employment but if you need advice of enrolling students feel free to contact us.

Once a sponsor licence is granted the Home Office will provide your organization login details to their Sponsorship Management System (SMS) so you can assign Certificates of Sponsorships (CoSs) to workers that need permission to work in the UK under tiers 2 and 5.

If your organisation is successful in obtaining a sponsor licence, you must adhere to the 5 Key Areas of ‘Good HR Practices’ to avoid your sponsor licence either being downgraded or suspended.

These are the 5 key areas your business must comply to:

  • Area 1: Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal employment
  • Area 2: Maintaining Worker contact details
  • Area 3: Recordkeeping
  • Area 4: Worker tracking and monitoring
  • Area 5: General HR duties

You can manage the 5 key areas manually and hope you stay compliant or yuo can invest in HR technology which could be very expensive. We feel we have come up with a happy medium by launching ComTracker the only UK HR software that is truly designed around hiring of workers.

What if the Home Office downgraded our sponsor licence for non-compliance?

If your sponsor licence was downgraded from an A-rating (compliant) to a B-rating (non-compliant), you cannot assign any further (CoSs) to existing or new workers. It takes on average 3 months for the Home Office to reinstate you’re A-rating if you fix your non-compliance issues. During this time you cannot hire/retain any tier 2 or tier 5 staff plus, you will also get a Home Office fine to get you’re A-rating reinstated.

What happens if the Home Office removes my sponsor licence altogether?

Any workers employed under tier 2 or tier 5 must stop working for you immediately unl;ess the Home Office states otherwise. The affected workers will have 60 days to find a new sponsor or they will have to vacate the UK. If you carried on employing those workers you could get a civil penalty up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

What if we are B-graded a second time?

If your business previously received a B-rating from the Home Office and the Home Office carried out a new compliance audit and found you to be non-compliant again, you’re sponsor licence is likely to be removed altogether. You will not be permitted to make another sponsor licence for 12 months.

How can I stay compliant and avoid non-compliance?

Our sister company Global 4 Immigration (G4I) is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (part of the Home Office) under reference F200400010 can help your organisation be compliant by offering you an audit and training services. If you need HR software, you can access the ComTracker for free (30 day HR pass) so you can see if the product is right for your business. G4I has guided us on every step of the way to ensure that the ComTracker will help you to meet the Home Office sponsor licence compliance guidelines as long as you enter the data on a daily basis.

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